Imagine someone changed your house name…

By | March 13, 2017
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Something on emails first today – and then a quick mention of something that might be relevant if you have a smartphone of any kind…

Imagine someone came and told you that even though you’d lived in your house for years, they were changing what it’s called, without your say-so.

And in a few months, if anyone wrote to you at the old address, the post wouldn’t get to you.

What a pain – you’d have to let all your friends know, your bank, your card companies, all the other organisations who have your address on file. I think you’d be a bit cheesed off – I know I would be!

Well, it’s not quite the same, but Orange (part of EE, the mobile phone and broadband company) is doing something similar to its customers. They’re scrapping the email addresses that they gave to people who get broadband from them – so anyone with an email address along the lines of [email protected] or [email protected] will find they don’t work any more after the end of May.

(Here’s the official line on it from them, but you might be better off just reading my version below!)

So, what’s the situation?
Well, if you have an email address that ends in any of:
Then as of 31st May, it won’t work – you won’t be able to send emails from it and any emails sent to it won’t get to you.

And I’d recommend you read this even if you don’t have one of those email addresses – I’ll explain why in a moment.
So you’ll need to set up a new, separate email address. Or if you already have another one, switch to using that. Then you’ll need to let everyone know your new email address (including us so you don’t stop getting this newsletter) – not just friends and family but all the companies who have it either to send you bills and so on or have it on record as a way to reset passwords or anything like that.

So that might include Facebook, Skype, Amazon, any other shops, any other email accounts which have it as a “backup” email address to send you a reset code to if you forget your password, your phone company, possibly your electric and gas companies if you get electronic statements/bills… and probably a lot more.

My advice is to start changing them over as soon as possible, rather that waiting until May, to allow time for you to think “Oh, I forgot so and so”.

Step 1 – set up your new email address
You can skip this if you already have another email address you want to use, but otherwise you can go to or or and set up a free web-based email account – look for an option saying “set up an account” or something similar.  Sometimes you have to click on log in and it then gives you an option to create a new account if you haven’t already got one.  (If you have one of my tablet One Step at a Time books and want a bit more help, this is covered on page 29 in the iPad one or 31 in the Android one.)

I don’t particularly have any recommendation between the different free email accounts – they all seem to work fairly well.

Step 2 – tell everyone to change it over
Telling your friends and family is fairly straightforward – just let them know. (Do make sure they know to delete your old email address from their address book, so they don’t accidentally use it.)

For organisations like Facebook or whatever, you usually have to log in to their website, then look for an option along the lines of “account settings” – it’s sometimes a cogwheel symbol and sometimes it has your name that you click on to get to it. Then you should be able to change your email address. Best do this before the old one gets turned off as you may get an email to the old one to confirm it’s you switching it over.

Then for a while check both email accounts and if you’re still getting emails you want to the old one, remind whoever’s sending them to use the new one.

Of course, if the organisation is a nice friendly one, you might only need to email them to say what’s happening and they’ll sort it out for you – for example to switch over the email address we have for you so you don’t stop getting this newsletter, just email [email protected] and say what your old and new email addresses are and we’ll update our records for you. Sadly, I doubt you’ll get the same kind of service from the likes of Facebook, Skype or even your utilities company – they’ll probably insist on you logging into their webpage and searching for the option to change the email address they have for you.

Extra step – if you have emails you want to keep, copy them over
When the old email account is turned off, you’ll probably lose access to your old emails (I say probably because it does depend on how your computer is set up – if you get emails through what’s called pop3, you might not lose them from your PC. I wouldn’t rely on it, though.)
So if there are emails you really don’t want to lose, I’d recommend forwarding them over to your new account. The easiest way is simply to click on the email you want to keep, then click on forward and send it to the new email address.

I said I’d recommend you should read this even if you don’t have one of those email address – why?

Well, if you have an email address that comes from your broadband company (eg one that ends in,,, or so on, there’s a chance they’ll do the same in the future. And even if they don’t, if you ever want to switch to another broadband company, you’ll lose your email address.

In fact I need to take my own advice on this – we have an email address from our broadband company (TalkTalk as it happens) and because so many organisations use that email address to contact us, it’ll be a right pain to switch to another company – but I know we could save money if we did switch.

So it would make sense for me to set up an email address that isn’t from the broadband company and gradually let everyone know to use that one – until the talktalk one isn’t being used at all. Then I’d be free to switch to another broadband provider without worrying about emails not reaching me.

Phew – that was a bit of a marathon article, I know! But it could be so frustrating if you suddenly lost your emails without being prepared.

Just like last time, when I wrote about things going wrong with the battery on your phone – that’s frustrating too. In fact, it can be frustrating when all sorts of different things go wrong on your phone – making it not work properly, go slower and slower or simply have some niggle that shouldn’t be there.

But I’m working on something that might help at the moment – more on that shortly. (I don’t want to say too much yet as I hate to “tempt fate” by saying too much about something until it’s finished!) Put it this way: if you have a smart phone of any kind (or are thinking of getting one), make sure you don’t miss the next few emails from me (which’ll include what Alastair had to say about it – good advice as it turns out)!

16 thoughts on “Imagine someone changed your house name…

  1. Susan

    I have been using fsmail from it’s beginning and am just devastated that this can happen. However, I do have a google account which I have difficulty managing, fsmail(orange) was more straightforward – in my opinion. Anyway, I decided to set up a yahoo account only to find that the transfer service does not operate – only on Google or AOL. It’s driving me nuts!!

    1. Mike

      Hi Susan

      Tim is out of the office today, no doubt enjoying the glorious sunshine we are having so I am picking up comments on here.

      It is very frustrating when services close which we rely on every day. Hopefully these tips should help you get everything to the right place.

      0. Pick which email address you want to use as your main one (Gmail or Yahoo)

      1. Make sure you email all your friends / contacts with your new email address, email them from the new email address to make life easier for them.

      2. Any important emails from your old Orange account you could forward to your new email account, this means you keep a record. It is a bit of a faff if you have lots, but better than losing them. (If you pick Gmail as your main account you can also follow the instructions on the Orange website to import all your emails )

      3. Set up an auto-reply on your Orange email telling people you have a new email address and what it is

      4. Make sure you update accounts to use your new email address (Amazon, PayPal, Helpful Books etc…)

      There is lots of help on getting started with Gmail on their help site here


      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

  2. Deanna

    I have had my since I started on my computing. As an older lady I do NOT understand what to do. I will print off your info and wait for a Grand child to visit. I did try to use a gmail address before but I thought “they” said that I couldn’t transfer my e mails to it. I have 100’s of e mails as I had a shop and am also a charity collector.

    1. Mike

      Hi Deanna

      Tim is off enjoying the sunshine today (he says he is working from home) so I am picking up comments on here today.

      It sounds like you have done the right thing by signing up for a Gmail account, there is an import feature for emails from to Gmail which you can find instructions for here

      Then take a look at my comment to Susan above with my top 5 tips for making the change as easy as possible.

      If I were you I would call a grandchild and ask them to pop round sooner rather than later, the offer of cake always goes down well too! 🙂

      It sounds like you are on the right track, good luck!

      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

  3. john

    Very grateful for your article – I am not affected (yet) but will circulate my contacts who might be and I am sure they will be appreciative too. For those who are worried about Gmail – don’t be! Once it is set up it is not troublesome. I currently have Post Office broadband in addition to Gmail and will now anticipate a change.
    Up to now I use Post office for personal emails and Gmail for organisations etc and like to keep them separate. But I know it is possible to get them all through Gmail – imap I believe it is called.

    1. Mike

      Hi John

      Tim is ‘working from home’ today so I am picking up messages. It’s odd he is at home on such a lovely sunny day…

      As far as we can see there are no reports that the Post Office are going to stop their email service. Our advice would be to use an email account not linked to your broadband provider (Post Office in this case), this is because if you ever want to swap broadband providers in the future then you don’t have to worry about losing the email address.

      It is possible to import emails from one provider into Gmail, if you want a permanent transfer (which is what is needed for any Orange accounts affected by this closure) you should use POP3 to connect the two and it will take a copy of the email, IMAP kind of takes a copy, but any changes are updated at both ends (in this case Gmail and Post Office).

      I use 1 Gmail account for everything at home and then use tags (folders) to manage things for different things.

      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

  4. Jack Leonard

    And you forgot the important bit.
    NEVER use the company responsible for this again !

    1. Mike

      Hi Jack

      Thanks for your comment. Tim is working from home so I am picking up messages today.

      We wouldn’t go as far as saying never use a company again. In this case Orange became part of EE and is now owned by BT so it has been through a few owners before this happened.

      It can be very frustrating when services we rely on every day are closed. But annoyingly these things do happen.

      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

  5. John Clark

    I too have been a long term fsnet user. I also use Windows Live Mail to collate my emails and have managed to put 2 new gmail accounts onto it as well. Thing is will WLM stop or will my emails on WLM be lost when Orange pull the plug on us.
    I noticed in Tim’s newsletter re Orange that if I,m using POP3(which I do ) server address I may be alright on this front.
    Any comments or knowledge out there can help me ponder the meaning of life.?

    1. Mike

      Hi John

      Tim is off ‘working from home’ today (it’s really sunny here, I don’t think the two things are related?) so I am picking up comments today.

      You need to make sure that everyone has your new email address so any new emails come to the right place as after Orange close the email service you won’t get any.

      I would encourage you to take a look at my 5 points in my reply to Susan (above) to make sure you keep anything important.

      If you use POP3 to get your email currently then there is a chance your emails will stay on your local computer after it is closed. However. It’s not guaranteed so I would suggest you make a backup / forward them to your new email account to make sure you have a copy of anything important.

      As for pondering the meaning of life? Well gosh that’s a tricky one, maybe, possibly, a nice cup of tea with a biscuit, sat in the sun, just watching the world go by, might help you ponder the meaning of life? If you find it let us know!

      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

  6. Johannes Hamann

    Good morning Tim,
    Interesting article this week re. Orange/EE withdrawing e-mail services. Several friends here much upset about it.
    Will this eventually happen to all other e-mail providers ?
    I have everything with BT:
    Landline, internet, E-mail address, mobile phones.
    Do I need to worry about my e-mail future with BT ?
    Best wishes, Hannes Hamann

    PS: A new fan re. your booklets – PC & Tablet Help – ordered already five recently.
    [Admin Edit: Removed customer number]

    1. Mike

      Hi Johannes

      Tim is out of the office today so I am picking up comments on here for him.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments, I’m so glad you like the books!

      Let me see if I can answer your questions…

      Will this eventually happen to all other e-mail providers?
      There are no reports of any other companies planning to do this, but there is always a chance they will! Hopefully they will give you a warning before it happens. I suspect most will give a warning if they plan to close, but if a company went bust it might just stop working? Always best to have a backup of anything important.

      Do I need to worry about my e-mail future with BT?
      There are no reports that BT plans to close any other email accounts, but we can’t know what their plans are. Best to have a backup of anything important.

      Backups of emails
      The quickest way might be to print out the email, or if you have the option to “Print to PDF” and save it as a file on your local machine, this is a bit of a faff for lots of emails but the odd really important one might be worth saving like this.

      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

      PS: For anyone reading along you can find a full list of your books/videos here 🙂

  7. Brian Francis

    For as long as I can remember I have received all my emails via Microsoft Outlook. That’s the system I use in my office so it follows that I am familiar with it. I rarely go into “Orange” to deal with email as there’s been no real need to do so. I have now set up a gmail account and don’t like the format of the gmail screens. Question is – is it possible to get gmail delivered and used through Microsoft Outlook? If I could do this and link my “orangehome” mails to “gmails” while I wean all my contacts onto gmail it will help soften the impact in these intervening 2 months before orangehome is shut down.

    1. Mike

      Hi Brian

      I am picking up messages for Tim this week. Thanks for your comment.

      I’m sorry we can’t give precise technical advice via this newsletter but I can certainly point you in the right direction, as what you want to do should be possible. You will need to “Add a new account” to Outlook this is usually under “account settings” or something similar, then you will need to put in the Gmail account details (username and password and sometimes server details). Gmail also has a separate step you need to do before this works which you can read about here (this link also includes the server details if you are asked for them)

      Hope this helps

      Mike – The Helpful Book Company

      PS I would encourage you to have a read of my reply to Susan (above) where I go through some extra steps to try and make the switch as painless as possible, especially step 3.

  8. Terry Lewis

    Sorry Tim, only now read this update e-mail from you!

    We were with BT for internet, telephone and so forth for many years but changed maybe 3-4 years ago. Apart from my work e-mail, but I’m happily retired now, we’ve really only ever used our address, for everything: personal, charity activities, small self-employment businesses etc etc.
    When we left BT, for Utility Warehouse actually (theyr’e great for many things), We definitely did not want to go through the paid of changing the e-mail address. So we switched to BT’s Premium e-mail service to keep the same address although not now with BT. Their monthly charge was about £1.60 initially but it was increased to £5 a year or so ago.
    We still can’t face the pain of changing to, say, g-mail, but perhaps we’ll have to one day. We’re on web-based e-mail, so can access it all wherever we are (but not on smart phones which neither of us have) and it’s not just the e-mails themselves, grouped into numerous helpful topic folders where we want to retain them for some reason, but the whole database of contacts that would need addressing. There must be well over a thousand of them, although I could perhaps delete some old irrelevant ones…
    Enjoying your posts each week, so thank you.

    1. Tim Post author

      yes, it’s a good service that BT are offering with that email that you can keep even if you move to another supplier. Sadly not many broadband companies offer anything similar – I wish they would.
      But well worth mentioning it here – so if anyone is with BT and thinking of moving, but worried about the email, you might be able to keep it this way – worth looking into.


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